Dr Felicity Meakins in the field
Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The 2021 Eureka Prizes, announced on 7 October, have shone a well-deserved spotlight on several ARC-supported researchers in recognition of their trailblazing work.

ARC Future Fellow Professor Felicity Meakins, from The University of Queensland who with Cassandra Algy from the Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation are part of the team to receive the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. Their research has documented the way the Indigenous language, Gurindji is used by different generations in the remote communities of Kalkaringi and Daguragu in the Northern Territory. The other members of the winning team are biologist Professor Lindell Bromham and mathematician Professor Xia Hua, both from The Australian National University, who are collaborating to develop new ways to understand the processes of language change and the factors that are helping to keep Indigenous languages strong.

Professor Maria Kavallaris from The University of New South Wales and Dr Julio Ribeiro from The University of Western Australia were part of a team who received the ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology. The prize was awarded for developing a bioprinting system that can rapidly print 3D cell structures such as cancer cells, heralded as a game-changer for cancer research and therapeutic development.

Associate Professor Diane McDougald from the University of Technology Sydney received with Dr Gustavo Espinoza Vergara the UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research for their discovery that the bacterium responsible for cholera, Vibrio cholerae, becomes more virulent when passaging through a previously unknown vector. Their finding has revealed where pathogenic bacteria like cholera can hide before causing infectious disease outbreaks, which will have wide-ranging impacts on the development of control strategies.

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awardee Dr Emma Camp from the University of Technology Sydney received the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher. Dr Camp’s discovery of corals thriving in extreme conditions is informing new adaptive management solutions in both Australia and abroad, and developing improved management strategies for coral reefs worldwide.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of prestigious Eureka prizes this year!

Photo credit: 

Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research winner Dr Felicity Meakins and her team in the field. Credit: Australian Museum/Eureka Prizes.